LMCC Asks FCC to Extend Reply Comments Deadline for 4.9 GHz FNPRM
Wednesday, December 15, 2021 | Comments

The Land Mobile Communications Council (LMCC) filed a motion asking the FCC to extend the reply comments deadline to its ongoing further notice of proposed rulemaking (FNPRM) on what to do with the 4.9 GHz band.

The LMCC requested that the FCC extend the deadline by 30 days to January 27.

For many years, the FCC has been looking at ways to increase utilization of the band, which is currently dedicated to public-safety use. Last year, the FCC passed a framework that would have allowed states to lease the spectrum to non-public-safety entities. Public-safety organizations came out against that proposal, expressing concern about its impact on public-safety users in the band.

This led the FCC to vacating those rules and releasing an eighth FNPRM seeking input on ways to optimize public-safety use of the band, as well as ways to enable sharing in the band. The FCC received a large number of comments and feedback from public-safety, critical infrastructure and business entities on that notice.

“A substantial number of parties submitted comments on the FNPRM,” the LMCC’s motion said. “Many came from public-safety organizations and entities. Others were filed by parties seeking shared access to the band. All supported the FCC’s abandonment of its 2020 decision to turn management of the 4.9 GHz band over to the states. And, while the comments reflect areas of agreement, particularly the need for a more detailed licensing structure that, together with an effective coordination process, will both protect incumbents from interference and permit increased spectrum utilization, other critical issues have not yet achieved a level of agreement among affected parties. Nonetheless, the Comments provide useful clarification of areas where consensus might yet be achieved if the parties have sufficient time to collaborate before filing reply comments.”

The LMCC said that a 30-day extension to the reply comment deadline would provide that opportunity for collaboration.

“The current deadline, falling in what for many is a holiday week between Christmas and New Year’s, is a particularly inopportune time to try to achieve greater commonality in addressing the complex issues presented in the FNPRM,” the motion said. “It is even more challenging since communications remain largely limited to phone conversations rather than face-to-face meetings.”

The LMCC said that it does not believe that an additional 30-day period for reply comments would not have a significant impact on the FCC’s decision-making process.

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